Written by Eddie Ferranti
It is wonderful when catching up with old friends and ear catching music happen at the same time.  That was the case for Rose and I as we ventured to the always friendly confines of McGonigels Mucky Duck to catch up with Austin’s The Belle Sounds.  Sweetheart Noelle Hampton and her long time killer cool hubby Andre Moran marched on stage and their professional chops kicked in from start to finish.  The talent pool that is the city of Austin has been flooding to the Houston area big time and this was a steal of a deal gig!
Rounding out the five piece band were Emily Shirley (keys/synth/vocals) , Nathan Harlan (bass/vocals) , and Jim Echels (drums/vocals). The heart and soul though is the interweaving of soul mates Hampton and Moran as they look at each other all night shredding and presenting a fresh twist to the pop rock songwriting sound they have had going on since 2013.  We have seen them for years doing well with the Americana thing, but NH has moved her songwriting and the band’s identity to something that is so refreshing yet rocking in a build up kinda way.  The opener of “Bourbon On Your Lips” and “The Siren” earmarked the evenings proceedings big time. I have seen a ton of electric leads play in my day, but none who permeate an assassin like precision like Moran who shows his ONLY emotion thru his eyebrows!  Cool.
064Other goodies included “Should Have Been Mine”, “Olivia” and “Starry Eyed” all presented in bang bang fashion letting the killer tunes tell the tales instead of lots of in show blabber which is always a plus with us!  The soaring harmonies and trippy sound continued on “Golden Boy” and “Inside Out” detailing the American addictions to booze, pills, sex, power, etc. The band has a Nashville produced EP to their credit called Black Stone and they laid out a new tune called “Thee Informant” about life on the world’s need to be on a constant news feed! Hampton has a nice “leg kick and go” delivery and is no slouch strapping on an electric like on “Legend of the Silver Moon” which she labeled a journey in life.  That is what this couple of over twenty plus years took us on and left us wanting more. The Austin Chronicle dubbed them one of the best new bands in 2016 and the sky seems to be the limit for this mystical haunting indie rock sound they are laying down!  Here’s hoping they find they way back to H-Town very soon………

Eddie “Edge” Ferranti

Senior Editor

Houston Music Review